Even if you do not have a legal background and have never been arrested for DUI, you know that the sanctions for drunk driving in Illinois are harsh. A Secretary of State publication outlines the penalties for a first-time DUI, which is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Plus, besides being a crime, driving while intoxicated can lead to a driver’s license suspension and/or revocation. As with other offenses, subsequent offenses mean stiffer penalties and possibly even felony charges.
However, when reviewing the criminal punishment and administrative sanctions for drunk driving, you may not consider other effects that can be extensive. Once you realize the far-reaching implications, you understand how important it is to retain a skilled Naperville DUI defense attorney for assistance. A few of the collateral consequences include:
Employment and Employability: A driver’s license suspension could affect your occupation if it directly involves driving or you need to travel to complete job-related tasks, such as for a position in sales. In addition, there are additional implications for your employment:
- A DUI will show up in an employment background check.
- You may have to reveal a drunk driving conviction when applying for certain jobs.
- You could lose a professional license required for your occupation, so you cannot legally work in that area.
- If your job requires a security clearance, you may be denied employment or terminated from your current position.
Permanent Criminal Record
In Illinois, you are not eligible to expunge or have records sealed after being convicted on DUI charges. The only way to remove the incident from your permanent criminal record is to request and get approved for a pardon from the governor. Note that you may qualify to remove a drunk driving arrest if you were not subsequently charged or found not guilty.
Aside from the fees you pay to the court, there are numerous consequences for your wallet:
- If required to participate in an alcohol evaluation and complete education programs, you are responsible for all expenses;
- You must have proof of financial responsibility to get your license reinstated, usually through costly SR-22 auto insurance; and,
- Without a driver’s license, you will need to rely on alternative forms of transportation. You could be expending considerable amounts on taxis or rideshare services.
Under especially egregious circumstances, such as being involved in a DUI accident or drunk driving with a minor, there could be consequences for your parental rights. A DUI arrest in the midst of a heated court battle can affect child custody decisions.
Consult with an Illinois DUI Defense Lawyer About Fighting the Charges
There are many other collateral consequences when you are facing drunk driving charges, but this overview should convince you that retaining experienced legal counsel is essential. Our team at the Law Office of Patricia Magana, LLC is prepared to aggressively defend your interests, so please contact our office at 630-448-2001 today. We can schedule a free initial consultation with a Will County DUI defense attorney who can review your circumstances and discuss strategies.